HP has found another way to maintain its grip on the cloud computing crown. The IT behemoth is going to help the United States Army build out its private cloud.
The company announced this week that it was awarded a portion of the Department of Defense's $250 million Army Private Cloud contract (APC2). The IT modernization project is part of the military's plan to consolidate data centers.
In support of those efforts, HP will be providing the Army with private cloud services and support, including network connectivity and application migration. Part of the agreement requires HP to partner with ten small businesses and Alabama A&M University to provide those services.
HP is also tasked with helping the military mobilize its cloud.
HP will provide containerized data centers, or PODs as the company brands them. PODs are part of HP's focus on the data center, which in recent years has come to include design and construction services under its Critical Facilities Implementation (CFI) business.
During the debut of HP CFI's data center design service, Rick Einhorn, worldwide director of Critical Facilities Services at HP, commented on how PODs lend flexibility and speed to IT deployments. He told InternetNews.com, "The POD is good for a municipality or military environment that needs a real quick data center installation."
He added, "We've also done hybrids where there is both a POD and brick and mortar installation. It's the customer's choice." It's a sentiment that the company is banking on today. HP envisions that its PODs will help the Army get cloud services up and running quickly during operations or as bolt-on capacity upgrades for U.S.-based IT facilities.
Keeping snoops out of enterprise clouds has emerged as a top concern in recent years, with no shortage of vendors vying for guard duty.
So naturally, security factors heavily as the Army's cloud gets off the ground. Military contractor Northrop Grumman is making no bones about its role in providing a hardened cloud environment for the DoD as a fellow APC2 contract winner.
In a statement, Karen Williams, vice president of the Defense Technologies Division for Northrop Grumman Information Systems, said, "Northrop Grumman's cloud computing solutions have been optimized to address the unique mission and cybersecurity requirements of our warfighters while providing the efficiency benefits of cloud operations."
This includes providing some of the same services as HP -- like application migration -- as well as data center services. This includes the gamut of "as-a-service" offerings (infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service) on contractor-owned, private or hybrid cloud infrastructures.